General information

Course type AMUPIE
Module title The encounters between East and West in East Asia in the early modern era
Language English
Module lecturer Robert Aleksander Maryks
Lecturer's email
Lecturer position Professor
Faculty Faculty of Polish and Classical Philology
Semester 2023/2024 (summer)
Duration 30
USOS code 03-AP-EWEA


Module aim (aims)

This course explores the 1300–1800 period before China's decline, when the country was viewed by the Europeans as a leading world culture and power. Europe, by contrast, was in the early stages of emerging from provincial to international status. It explores how that earlier era, interestingly, contains more relevance for today than the more recent past. The lectures drive on a wealth of recent research on Sino-Western history.

Pre-requisites in terms of knowledge, skills and social competences (where relevant)


Week 1: First Chinese travelers to Europe

Week 2: Scientific exchange between China and Europe

Week 3: Exchanges of technologies between China and Europe

Week 4: Antiquity texts translated in Chinese (including Cicero’s De amititia)

Week 5: The Italian Matteo Ricci and the transmission of Western science (his translation of Euclid in Chinese)

Week 6: European cartographers and remaking of Chinese geography

Week 7: Accommodating Confucianism as a bridge to Christianity

Week 8: Italian Giuseppe Castiglione as the imperial court painter

Week 9: European missionary astronomers and the creation of the Astronomical Observatory in Beijing

Week 10: Polish missionaries Michał Boym and Jan Mikołaj Smogulecki in China

Week 11: European architecture in China

Week 12: Chinese dictionaries for European languages

Week 13: European fascination with Chinese porcelain

Week 14: European Legacy in China and Chinese Legacy in Europe

Week 15: Final Test

Reading list